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2020 Mizuno ST200 drivers and fairway woods arrive

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For a company that hadn’t had a PGA Tour win with a driver in well over a decade, 2019 was a big year for Mizuno drivers on the PGA Tour—and in the minds of consumers. The new ST200 drivers and fairway woods build on the success and technology breakthroughs of the ST190 series in 2020 by focusing a global team effort on a single goal: creating the best driver series on the market.

Mizuno’s tagline for the new ST200 drivers and fairway woods is “Tour Ready, World Ready” and the reasoning behind this structured line is two-part.

  • “Tour Ready”: Unlike other OEMs, there are no “tour parts” when it comes to Mizuno metal woods. With a smaller staff, the sole focus of the design team was to create a line of woods that tackle the whole spectrum of the golf demographic bell curve, from high-speed high-spin players on tour, to moderate speed golfers needing some draw bias, you’ll find them all with the ST200s.
  • “World Ready”: This speaks to a culmination of product planning and design that has been in the making for probably close to six years, if not longer. In the past, some markets, especially Japan, has had separate product lines (craft and MP) in the woods.

But there was one problem with that market and product segmentation: more designs meant engineers had to stretch their biggest resource, time, thinner. It’s not that previous releases weren’t already great, as testing proved, but it left engineers and designers asking the question “could we have done more?” From a marketing perspective, it also meant a win for a Japan-only driver, turning what could have been a global marketing win into more of a local advertisement—not an ideal scenario for a globally recognized brand like Mizuno.

Now, with the ST200s, for the first time in memory, North America, Europe, South Korea, and Japan all have one uniform line of products, designed as a single global family.

Three is the magic number: This is the last part to the ST200 story. As mentioned earlier, being able to add an additional driver model to the family allows designers to push further towards the edges of the golfer fitting bell curve and offer greater adjustability and tuning options. All while still making sure to create hugely forgiving clubs for all golfers.

Technology

So what actually makes the ST200 drivers as a whole better than the previous generation? Let’s break it all the way down to materials.

SAT2141 Beta Titanium Face: A quick Google search will show you that this material is not new to the aerospace world, but as far as golf clubs go it was mostly found in JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) drivers, especially ones meant to be Hi-COR/non-conforming, because of cost. As we all know, CT and ball speeds are limited by the rules of golf, but within those parameters, there is room for improvement around the face. SAT2041 has higher strength and rebound properties allowing Mizuno engineers to improve the multi-thickness areas behind the face for higher ball speed, and save mass to reposition around the head.

More discretionary mass: In the golf world a few grams here or there can mean a lot, and for a driver, it’s even more critical. Mizuno shaved mass all over the head to boost MOI in all three models, starting with the crown. The carbon top was already light at 10.6 grams, but by adding structural ribs, they were able to save almost 19 percent and bring that down to 8.6g. (let this be an example that a percentage statistic can sound both impressive and also feel underwhelming) but it proves that they are taking every step possible.

Mass was also saved from the standing wave at the front of the head, as well as the face, thanks to the newer material use, and in the case of the ST200, was placed in a new 11.6g weight pad in the back of the head.

Face optimization: More time spent working on products equals further refinement, and for Mizuno, that means that each loft in each model head (four total) have an internal CorTECH face designed to maximize that loft, based on players fitting profiles.

Meet the Family

2020 Mizuno ST200

The ST200 is designed for a total balance of spin control and forgiveness. The starting goal for this driver was to create the highest MOI possible without sacrificing the ability to produce lower spin. Mass saved around the head allowed for the placement of a new weight pad towards the trailing edge away from the face, to boost total MOI by 13 percent, compared to the previous ST190. Any time a product in the golf world can get double-digit improvement numbers in a performance parameter, you know they are on to something.

This higher MOI doesn’t take away from the spin performance either since the ST200, is now lower spinning that the previous lower spin ST190G.

The head comes in two standard loft configurations 9 degrees and 10.5 degrees and with the Quick Switch loft adjustability two more degrees in either direction.

2020 Mizuno ST200G

The ST200G driver is all about providing the most adjustability into a higher MOI head with very low spin properties.

From an adjustability perspective, Mizuno research found that most golfers either placed the sliding weights all the way forward or all the way back in the tracks of the ST190g. So to increase adjustability they put the weight entry point in the middle of the tracks to provide more front-back movement. The resulting design change gives the ST200G a higher MOI with the weights all the way back than last year’s ST190.

The bigger tracks, along with larger dual eight-gram weights—compared to the ST190G’s seven grams—create greater spin separation between the front and back positions—upwards of 500 RPM vs. the previous model’s 300 RPM. Lower spin, higher MOI, and faster ball speeds are everything you would want from a tour-level driver.

The ST200G only comes in a 9-degree head, but with the Quick Switch loft adjustability two more degrees.

2020 Mizuno ST200x

The ST200x is a serious contender for any golfer looking to add distance and speed back into their game. Built from head to grip to compete in the ultra-premium lightweight category, the design focus was more on a total club package than head performance alone.

The stock length is .75″ longer than the other two models at 45.75″, and with the emphasis on making each component of the club as light as possible, the total weight comes in as 272g. To give that number a comparable, the XXiO Prime is 250g (but $850), and the Titleist TS1 is 275g. This light total weight, as well as a repositioned internal and external mass, makes the ST200X draw bias to once again focus help on those looking to add some distance.

The ST200X comes in a 10.5-degree head, and with the Quick Switch loft adjustability, two more degrees in either direction you can take it from 8.5 to 12.5 degrees.

2020 Mizuno ST200 series: Shafts, prices, availability

The ST200 and 200G stock options are driven directly from the tour and feature a familiar story of high, mid, and low launch with the Mitsubishi Chemical Diamana D+Plus Series

High: Diamana D+PLUS Red 50 & 60 grams
Mid: Diamana D+PLUS Blue 60 & 70 grams
Low: Diamana D+PLUS White 60 & 70 grams

Driven by fitting, Mizuno has also added more upcharge shafts options for the first time including

  • Tensei CK Pro Orange and White 60 and 70g
  • Fujikura Ventus Blue and Black 60 and 70g
  • Graphite Design Tour AD Di6 & 7 along with XC6 & 7
  • Project X HZRDUS Smoke Yellow and Green 60 and 70 g

Price: 

  • ST200 – $399.99
  • ST200G – $499.99
  • ST200X – $399.99

The Mizuno ST200 driver’s pre-sale and fitting tools will be available starting January 21 with product on retail shelves on February 14.

Mizuno ST200 fairway woods

The story of the Mizuno ST200 fairway woods, falls in line with the drivers: by globally aligning the R&D teams, along with putting a deeper focus on total performance, we get two new woods to fit more players.

Technology

All-new MAS1C high strength steel faces: The old adage of “the shaft is the engine of the club” couldn’t be further from the truth. The face is where performance comes from in any clubhead, and Mizuno wanted to take a big step with the ST200 by completely overhauling the internal structure. By using the new face material, they were able improve on the CORTECH multi-thickness pads behind the hitting zone, which greater improved total face COR and rebound ability, especially on lower face strikes.

It’s not that previous fairway woods weren’t taken right to the limit. But outside of the center of the face, performance depreciated faster than Mizuno engineers wanted to see. You have to remember, we’re not talking about 20 yards and 5-6 MPH of ball speed here, we’re talking 2-3 total MPH that when out on the course could mean the difference between a shot that carries a bunker and ends up on the green or has you grabbing a wedge for your next shot.

Thinner, lighter, stronger carbon crown: When it works, it works. Just like with the driver, engineers managed to make the carbon crown lighter by adding structural ribs to increase rigidity. This combined with the stronger face material freed up more mass to be placed around the heads to boost MOI and center of gravity optimization.

Specs, prices, and availability

The ST200 is technically one model but the TS (Tour Spoon) 15-degree version comes with the same Quick Switch adjustability as the drivers to offer the option to change loft up or down.

The non-adjustable 3- and 5-woods come in at 15 and 18 degrees and are offered stock with two different shafts models.

Pricing is $299.99 for the adjustable TS, and $249.99 for the non-adjustable models. The ST200 fairways pre-sale and fitting tools will be available starting January 21 with product on retail shelves on February 14.

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Jack

    Jan 10, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    buy them today and the value will be 45 dollars tomorrow …

  2. Adam

    Jan 10, 2020 at 9:31 am

    Fat ferrule

    • BJ

      Jan 10, 2020 at 9:53 pm

      Thats it…Ill hit and try anything just to not leave anything out there. But the shaft/ferrule/hosel looks chunky to me. The driver shape itself doesnt look bad. Ill test the 200G just to see

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Equipment

What GolfWRXers are saying about the best “5-woods under $125”

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@golfexchangeapp

In our forums, our members have been discussing 5-woods, with WRXer ‘gary3aces’ looking for a 5-wood for between $100 and $125. He’s looking to replace his current “M2 5 wood with something a little easier to hit”, and our members have been discussing the best options in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • C6 Snowboarder: “Take a look at a used Callaway Heavenwood in the Epic Flash model = pretty Friggen sweet. It is Heaven!”
  • Golf64: “Bang for the buck, hard to beat Cobra, but find Ping one of the easiest to hit off the deck. Since you are limited in the funds dept., maybe an older model Ping 5W would do the trick?!”
  • tilasan1: “G400 7 wood turned down or just use it as is.”
  • jbandalo: “Fusion fairways. Highly underrated, cheap, easy to hit and go for miles.”
  • RyanBarathWRX: “PING G fairway would be hard to beat and easily in price range:
  • Nelson.br.1515: “Another vote for the Callaway Big Bertha Fusion. Great stick!”

Entire Thread: Best 5-woods under $125″

 

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What GolfWRXers are saying about “blending Ping i500 irons with Blueprints”

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In our forums, WRXer ‘ballywho27’ has asked for thoughts on combining his current Ping i500 irons with the brand’s Blueprint irons. ‘Ballywho27’ is considering going “i500 in 3-4 iron and blueprint 5-W” and has asked for fellow member’s thoughts on the idea – who have been sharing their takes in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • jblough99: “I had a combo set for a minute, 3-5 I500 and 6-PW Blueprint. I could not get used to the transition, HUGE difference in looks at address. If I had it to do over I would just go 4-PW Blueprint and maybe a 3 I500 with graphite shaft as a driving, iron.”
  • animalgolfs: “iBlade{5i} – BP{6i-pw}. That’s my combo.”
  • Chunky: “I have i500 4-5 and Blueprints 6-PW. As mentioned above, there is a significantly different look at address. More importantly for me, the i500s are 1/2 to 1 club longer than the BPs (they fly much higher, too). Make sure you account for that added i500 distance when blending lofts or you’ll have a large gap.”
  • howeber: “I’ve done that exact set — 3 and 4 i500 and 5-PW Blueprint. It’s perfect for me since the 3 and 4 are more like a traditional 2 and 3.5. 4 is usually the longest iron I carry, so I like a little extra oomph out of it. At the end of the day though, when I finally tested them vs my MP4s, the Blueprints performed identically, while the i500 launched a little higher (same specs same shafts). Mizzys are still in the bag.”

Entire Thread: “Blending Ping i500 irons with Blueprints”

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GolfWRX Vault: Avoid these 5 club building disasters

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It’s never too late to go back to basics, especially when it comes to club building.

Even with modern new club release cycles the do’s and don’ts of building clubs haven’t changed much in the last few decades except for clubs with adapter sleeves and greater amounts of multi-materials incorporated into the design.

With that in mind its time to revisit an article from the GolfWRX Vault from June 2016.

——————

I’ve been fitting and building golf clubs for more than 15 years, and in that time I’ve seen a lot of really poor workmanship—stuff that would make most GolfWRXers cringe. But like anyone who ever did anything new, I didn’t start being naturally good at putting together clubs. It took a lot of time, ruined components, and trial and error to get where I am today.

I believe my attention to detail now stems from the fact that my dad was a machinist by trade, and anytime we ever worked on something together his attitude was to take your time and do it right the first time. My dad’s approach always had an impact on me, because I feel that if you do something right — even when it takes a bit longer — the job is not only more satisfying but also makes things work better and last longer.

The goal with this article is to help WRXers avoid the most common mistakes and assumptions in club building that lead to broken or ruined clubs, as well as real danger.

Over-prepping a graphite shaft

The shaft on the left has been prepped properly. The one of the right, which has noticeable taper, shows signs that layers of graphite have been removed.

This happens far more than it should, and can ruin an expensive new shaft purchase. To prepare a shaft properly for installation, you only need to remove enough of the paint to make sure that the epoxy adheres to the graphite. This is also true for the inside of the hosel.

Be careful to remove residual epoxy, dirt or rust (common with forged carbon steel club heads that have been sitting around for a while), or some type or solvent like the one used to put on grips, as it can cause of bond to break down very quickly. A proper reaming tool, a wire brush and some compressed air (either a small can or a large air compressor) can make cleaning simple, and prevent a golf club from falling apart.

UPDATE: Over prepping specifically applies to shafts that are designed to go into parallel heads and is especially important for 335 shafts with less material at the tip going into drivers and fairway woods. For information on how to properly taper a shaft to go into a tapered head, check out the video below:

Overheating a Shaft When Pulling it

This is what happens to a graphite shaft when overheated.

This is what happens to a graphite shaft when overheated, and the resin holding the graphite sheets together breaks down. It’s not always as noticeable, but if the shaft starts to fray it means the bonds have been compromised and it’s more likely to fail. 

Overheating a shaft when pulling it is another common mistake that can result in ruining a golf shaft. It also highly increases the chance of breakage. There are quite a few methods I’ve learned over the years to remove a shaft from a club head, from heat guns to large propane torches, but personally I find that using a small butane torch with a regulator for graphite offers the best results. It allows a club builder to easily control and focus the heat only where it’s needed. Bigger torches are fine for iron heads, as long as you don’t damage any plastic badges in the cavity or materials in slots around the head.

One of the best advances in club technology has been the invention and mass adoption of adjustable hosels. They not only help golfers adjust the loft, lie and face angle of club heads, but have also greatly decreased the need to pull shafts. So as long as a golfer is staying with the same metal wood manufacturer, they can usually test several different clubs heads with the same shaft, or vice versa — several different shafts with the same clubhead.

That being said, one of the most important tools that any hobbyist club builder should have or have access to is a high-quality shaft puller. It’s a necessary tool for anyone who wants to do repairs and helps prevent damage to a shaft while pulling it. The more linear pressure that can be applied to the clubhead, and the less heat used to break down the epoxy, the better. It makes sure both the shaft and the head are reusable in the future. For steel shafts, you can use a bit more heat, and twisting isn’t a problem. Again, with increased heat, be careful not to damage any of the badging, or permanently discolor an iron head.

Botching a Grip Installation

Using calipers and two-sided tape, you can replicate the taper of shafts to makes every grip feel exactly the same size in your set.

Using calipers and two-sided tape, you can replicate the taper of shafts to makes every grip feel exactly the same size in your set.

This one seems simple, but when really getting down to professional level detail, it is quite important. We ALL have a preference and different opinion of what feels good in a golf grip, as well as different sensitivities. For example, we all have the ability to figure out what apple is bigger, even if blindfolded because over time we all develop brain function to understand shapes and sizes. This also applies to grips. If you use the same grips on your 13 clubs, you could potentially have 4-5 different final sizes depending on how many different types of shafts you use, because many shafts have different butt diameters.

Some shafts have larger butt diameters, while others taper faster than others. That’s why it’s very important to own a quality set of vernier calipers, and know how to properly use them. It’s also the same for putters, since many putter shafts are smaller in diameter. I have lost count of how many times I’ve had people bring me, putters, where the bottom half of the grip is twisting and turning because the installer never paid attention to the interior diameter of the grip, the exterior diameter of the shaft, and how it changed from top to bottom.

Using epoxy that’s doomed to fail

An example of epoxy that although not completely set, is no longer safe for assembling clubs.

An example of epoxy that although not completely set, is no longer safe for assembling clubs.

I’m a bit of a physics nerd and garage engineer, so this is one of those topics that goes beyond just the physical aspects of club building and into the realm of chemistry.

Here comes my nerd-out moment: In the simplest of explanations for a 0.335-inch driver hosel with an insertion depth of 1.25 inches, the amount of calculated surface area the epoxy can bond between the shaft and the head using the internal dimensions of the head is 1.49 square inches. That’s not a whole lot of area when you consider the centrifugal force being applied to a driver head traveling at 100 mph, and then the forces of torque that also come into play when a shot is struck.

In a PERFECT world, almost zero torque is applied to a shaft when a shot is hit on the center of gravity (CG) of the club head, perfectly aligned with the center mass of the ball, while traveling in the intended direction. This is vectors 101 of physics. Unfortunately, almost every single shot is NOT hit like that, and this is where the epoxy bond is put under the most amount of stress. Lap shear strength of epoxy goes beyond me, but it proves that building a golf club is not just cut and glue after all.

Note: For those of you curious, the most popular epoxies are rated for 4500 psi. 

As far are actually working with epoxy, first things first. Always check to see if the epoxy has a best-before date (yep, just like milk). Also, never store epoxy in direct sunlight. If you are using epoxy from a tube in a dispensing gun, you are using what is an almost foolproof method. Plunge out the necessary amount, mix for about a minute (mix! don’t whip), and remember, the less air that gets into the epoxy the better. If air gets in and the epoxy cures with bubbles in it, then you end up with a club that will often “creak.”

For those using two parts in larger bottles, the best way to ensure proper ratios is to pay attention to the weight ratio rather than volume. This isn’t arts and crafts; it’s chemistry, so by using the weight to calculate the ratio you will get the right amount of each part every time, and help decrease the risk of failure down the road. If you have mixed a larger batch and plan on building quite a few clubs at a time, you really have to pay attention to the consistency and viscosity as time goes on. You don’t want to glue a club head with epoxy that has started to set.

Turning an Extension into a Shank

The difference between a good shaft extension (bottom) and a bad one.

The difference between a good shaft extension (bottom) and a bad one.

This is one of those subjects I don’t even like to talk about. I very much dislike using extensions when building clubs, especially clubs with graphite shafts. Going back to my “do-it-right-the-first-time” mentality, extensions are a Band-Aid fix to a problem that requires surgery. They also counter-balance the club, and by their very nature create a weak point because of the small wall thickness at the butt end of a shaft. The only clubs I don’t mind extending on a regular basis are putters since they are never put under the same level of stress as a club being swung at full speed. I also never extend a club more than 1 inch, because I have been witness to horror stories of clubs that have been overextended that not only break but rip through the grip and cut people’s hands very badly.

If you are going to extend a club, it’s important to make sure the fit is very snug and doesn’t cause the extension to lean in any direction. It’s also best to have the epoxied extension cure with the club on its side to avoid an excess epoxy from running down the shaft and breaking off and causing a rattle.

 

 

 

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